The left hemisphere of the blogosphere is up in arms over rumored US intervention in Somalia. They areÂ upsetÂ that we might be dealing with some of the warlords in control of the countryside instead of the “official government”. Some of these warlords could have helped in the BlackHawk Down incident, whichÂ is upsetting to all, but if they are opposed to Jihadis the saying “The enemy of my enemy” comes into play.
The facts are that the official government is composed of warlords as well, and they areÂ not in control of the countryside. If we wish to have effective intel, capture of Al Qaeda operatives in the country, and effective opposition to Jihadis who would make this a haven once again, then we must deal with the De Facto government — those warlords in control of the countryside.
Failing to do that would be equivalent to ignoring tribal leaders in Pakistan in our hunt for Bin Laden.
Interesting quote from the end of the WaPo article:
Many people here say they feel that the United States has ignored Somalia since the failed 1993 military intervention. Today many Somalis said they regret that chapter in their history and thank the United States, the largest donor of food and funding for water trucks during this season’s drought.
However, they said that news that the U.S. government was talking with warlords has awakened feelings of resentment.
“George W. Bush, we welcome the Americans. But not to back warlords. We need the U.S.A. to help the young government,” said Isak Nur Isak, the district commissioner in Waajid. “We won’t drag any Americans through the street like in 1993. We want to be clear: We don’t want only food aid, but we do want political support for the new government, which is all we have right now to put our hopes in. We can’t eat if everyone is dead.”